K. Test Firing & First Run

General Information


Wash your drum in hot water and detergent before using. A 5 gallon bucket works great, wash the outside, but not the inside, not much room and you could cut yourself, just slosh it up and down in the bucket.  You may also use dish detergent and rinse it off in the tub.   After washing you will need to do a burn in.

Burn in is the process of burning out anything unsavory (machine oils) etc that could be in the drum from manufacture.  So, burn in is putting the whole thing together the first time, empty, and run it at high temperature. (600F) or thereabouts.. for about 30-45 minutes.  This will temper the metal, burn any contaminants out, and begin to “season” the drum for coffee.  The metal will start turning a golden bronze color (this is what we want) and then after it cools down, go back through the whole roaster and tighten everything one last time, since the heat and warping will loosen things up.  Now you’re ready to roast.


The drum will go through some changes for about 5 heat cycles. The door may get a bit tight, or loose. The drum should stabilize after 5 heat cycles and will stay put after that.  It’s called tempering, and stress relieving. The drum should turn a nice bronze color; this is normal, and actually quite nice.

The roasts will improve as the drum and your grill normalize. The more you roast the better it will get. Practice, Practice, Practice.


1. The drum is all stainless steel, not a high polished stainless, but durable.

2. The drum will turn a bronze color when heated. This is normal, so don’t be
alarmed.

3. All grills are different and you will have to adjust the profile to suit your grill, but the profiles provided are a good starting point.

4. Placing the drum as low as possible in the grill is preferred.

5. Thermometer placement in the grill will affect the profile temps. Locate your thermometer in the center of lid and dead center of the drums length and diameter if possible. The profile was developed in our grill, yours may be different, and so you will have to adjust the profile temps to suit your grill.

6. If your thermometer is near the top and off to the side, like a Weber grill. You will have to go higher then the profile because the top of the grill is cooler then at the bottom, all heat goes to the top, and cools as it raises.

7. It is not hard to relocate or install a new thermometer near center and pointed to the center of the drum. It will be nearer the bean temps. Refer to the pictures on the web page.

8. CAUTION: Wear protective equipment when handling the hot drum. Gloves
should be able to withstand 500 degrees, or more for at least 30 sec.

9. The drum will take 3 to 5 roasts to season; the coffee will improve in taste as the drum seasons.


10. If your rod becomes loose in the sq. tubing, and you begin to hear a thumping noise while roasting. You can tighten it by removing the spit rod and putting a slight bow in your spit rod. Just bow it a bit over your knee or thigh and insert back in the drum. Allow it to cool before doing this.  Another option is to very slightly “V” in the square tubing to tighten the fit on the rod.  You may also shim it with strips of metal or wire, just inside the square tube.

K.  TEST FIRING & FIRST RUN

(Figure 168)

Here is our thermometer cold, on our first test firing. (Figure 168)

 

(Figure 169)

Light’er up.  Make sure you turn on the motor thereby turning the drum.  It allows for even heating, expansion and burns off the protective oils, and the residuals oils that are impossible to get out.  These other residuals oils were used for cooling the stainless metal during the welding process.  It gets inside the drum and you can only burn it out.  You will also smell the paint fumes and other strange odors during the first firing.  This will absorb into your coffee.  I recommend running the roaster at 550-600F for 40 mins to 1 hour before putting coffee in it.  We want to burn it ALL out.  (Figure 169)

(Figure 170)

The bearing may squeak initially and from time to time.  A little 3-in-one oil or motor oil will clear it up.  Avoid spraying aerosol based oils (WD40 and similar) as it could flame up being close to the flames.(Figure 170)

 

(Figure 171)

I have made additional metal inserts that I can use to simply wedge under the sheet metal.  This closes off the rear vent.  Particularly useful for max efficiency, cold weather, windy weather and high-heat roasts. (Figure 171)

(Figure 172)

Lets do this first burn-in, empty and let it run at 600F for 1 hour. (Figure 172)

(Figure 173)

Right on my numbers.  If you have built it efficiently, then you should be able to hold this temp at a relatively low gas setting. (Figure 173)

(Figure 174)

All three burners set between 40%-50% and holding 600.  Not bad, that means 550F should land at about 1/3 gas.  That’s great!   (Figure 174)

 

——(This below section is for Pre-2008 Drums and does not apply to the new assemblies with the latch.)—————————-

(Figure 175)

Some people have mentioned that when the drum is hot (right after a roast) the door is very hard to open, and impossible to close again until cool.  This is a result of thermal expansion and is incredibly hard to predict, or fix from the shop side without firing the drum.  This was the case with this new drum as well.  Inspect the lid and pin where the lid closes to see where you have overlap.  Take a drill bit and just insert the bit into the hole in the lid and hold it at the side of the hole that is interfering.  Not a lot, do it slowly little by little until the drum closes and opens semi-easily while hot.  As time goes on, it will loosen up, so you don’t want it to fall open either. 

——————————————————–END section on Pre-2008 drums—————————————

Once this is set, you are ready to roast your first batch and you can roast back to back without waiting for it to cool.  For how to roast, please see the roast profiles section for assistance in this area. (Figure 175)

One last suggestion, keep your roaster garaged, and don’t cook meat in it after it becomes your roaster, unless you like meaty flavored coffee!!!!!!

Keep the ash and chaff vacuumed out every few roasts, and your roaster will last you absolutely many years.

 

Tips for Gear Drive Motors


1. Mount your motor as far away from the grill as possible, 6”
minimum.

2. Make a heat deflector to go between your grill and Motor to
mount in front of your Coupling. It can be made with flashing or
light sheet metal that can be bought at any hardware outlet. Use
bushings or washers to have it stand off the grills hood about ½ to
1” cut a slot with beveled edges to go over your spit rod when you
close the hood. This will help protect the motor and rubber driver
in between the couplings from the extreme heat created during a
roast session.

3. The motor is not weather proof. Do not leave your motor exposed
to the weather. Cover it with a grill cover, tarp, or keep it inside a
building.

4. You will have to lubricate the non motor end, where the solid
bearing rides in the support bracket. Use some High temp white
lithium grease. Dupont makes a spay can that works quite well,
alternatives are Slick 50 oil additive, or good synthetic motor oil.
The Dupont lithium grease is best.

5. You will encounter more noise using a fast rpm motor, not from
the motor, but from the beans moving against the drum. After a
few roast you should not have a problem distinguishing the bean
movement noise from the cracks of 1 st and 2 nd crack.

6. If you do have trouble, use this as a guide. Smoke will start to
appear as first crack gets going. It will slow or stop at the end of
first crack, and will begin again 15 or so seconds before 2 nd crack
begins.

That’s it, I hope you found this guide helpful.  Happy Roasting!-Shane